A couple (and their dogs) were trapped in their truck left dangling from a bridge.
This is the type of thing that normally happens in nightmares. A 2004 Ford F-350 pulling a 30-foot camper trailer lost control while driving on Interstate 84 in Idaho on Monday afternoon. After swerving and then hitting the right shoulder barrier, the truck slid on its left side until it broke through the guardrail and was left dangling nose-first over the bridge.
It somehow managed to remain attached to the camper that was still on the road only because of the trailer safety chain. Without it, the truck and its two human and two canine occupants would have plunged 100 feet into the Malad River below. This was not a typical car accident.
The 67-year-old driver, his wife and their two dogs did not have time on their side. Fortunately for them, a couple of Idaho state troopers quickly arrived and they called for immediate first responder assistance. Realizing the single safety chain could snap at any moment, rescuers attached the truck to an additional set of chains connected to a semi-truck parked on the bridge.
A specialized team of trained rope rescue paramedics got to work and managed to rappel down to the dangling truck. Then they attached harnesses to the man and woman and brought them to safety along with their dogs.
The couple only suffered from minor injuries which would have been worse if they weren't wearing seat belts to hold them in place. Their dogs were just fine. "This was a tremendous team effort that took a quick response and really showed the dedication and training of our community of first responders," said Capt. David Neth of the Idaho State Police. "This is something we train and prepare for, but when it happens and people's lives literally hang in the balance, it takes everyone working together, and then some."
It's still unclear what triggered the accident, which remains under investigation. Above all, everybody walked away in one piece and a nightmare scenario ended up becoming an example of extreme courage and teamwork.